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Discussions > Coffee > General > Getting Good...  
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Apr 5, 2014, 10:29pm
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

CoffeeIV Said:

Red Bird doesn't seem to have much variety though and no Kona.

Posted April 5, 2014 link

clm Said:

I'm living a dream, grateful for it too....amazingly, it can be hard to find good beans here too.  Maybe my taste buds are failing me, but I remember Kona coffee from 20 years ago that was outstanding.  I've oft wondered why I can't seem to find the Kona of my memories - has the strain/variety been diluted over the years?  Have soils/conditions changed?  When I ask farmers about this, they tell me that they used to only sell the higher rated beans, but as more people began farming, they no longer sorted beans and started selling everything they grew.  

Kau and Puna coffees are getting high ratings in reviews, but I'm not wowed.  Kona is under assault from a beetle that's driven prices to as much as $80/lb.  The Kona I like best is from a grower with a small 5-acre farm who sorts and sun dries her beans.  I've had some very nice roasts from Maui in the past, and also Kauai, but as they get more available, the quality seems to deteriorate.

Posted April 4, 2014 link

F.Y.I.

Buckley
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CoffeeNark
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Nashville, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 7:11am
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

CoffeeIV Said:

For people in small towns, like myself, that might be a problem. We've got a Biggby and Starbucks in town.

Posted April 5, 2014 link

Instead of a problem, I see an opportunity.  If your town is big enough to have a Biggby and a Starbucks, maybe it is big enough for a small roaster even if it is just a side business to start.  If you get into home roasting and enjoy it, consider taking things to the next level.
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Goldensncoffee
Senior Member
Goldensncoffee
Joined: 9 Feb 2014
Posts: 80
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Breville Smart, Skerton
Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 9:41am
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

emradguy Said:

But here's another question...have you considered roasting your own?

Posted April 5, 2014 link

That's what I was going to say. Roasting is really a lot of fun and it doesn't take all day to do. I started buying my roasted beans online (no one local here either) and after a few orders and reading about home roasting I bought myself a Poppery. I have a great time learning and the best part is drinking super fresh coffee every day. Why worry about freezing beans and ordering more than you need to save on shipping? Just roast once/twice a week.
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CoffeeIV
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Joined: 5 Apr 2014
Posts: 9
Location: U.S.A.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

I've definitely been thinking about roasting. I'd prob buy a popcorn popper right now if I could use it right now. I'm guessing I don't want to do it in the house cause the chaff might be irritating to clean up and it's still too cold to do it outside.
One day I might even invest in a sub $1000 machine to roast but I hate purchasing something unless i'm 98% sure I'm going to use it very often. Also best to do use simpler machines first. I saw a colonial roaster and it looked cool too.

This is a real cool vid on 3 different ways to roast if you haven't seen it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3ZA5Eg9wfg
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,099
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 9:47pm
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

I don't do much freezing of coffee, but my only recommendation if you do is to skip zip-lock bags and use sealed glass like mason jars.  The reason is that zip-locks are anything but air tight and coffee could readily absorb off odors from the freezer.  

I have used zip-locks when shipping coffee to friends and taking beans on vacation. Despite double and triple bagging, the pervasive aroma always and easily finds it's way out for the mailman, and all who come even close to the package. (and for this I always wonder if the package will make it....)  Stowed in the car trunk, again double bagged, the aroma will permeate the whole car. Well, this is not a problem, but if this aroma so easily finds it's way out of the bag, it's not a one way street; other odors can find their way in.
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Benny123
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Joined: 4 Apr 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Tel Aviv
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:59pm
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

why not to go to the larger city once a ... month, for example, and to get there everything you want? me too, i am also not in a big city, but sometimes i am driving to a bigger city and get there everything i want for a prolonged period of time
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 511
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 5:02am
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Roasting is fun, challenging and satisfying.  It's one of the best parts of our coffee experience -- enriching every other part of it.  We love drinking what we roast.

Rich

Posted April 5, 2014 link

It can be yes, and it can be a total nightmare.

For someone just starting out, figure out more what you like, etc. Personally, I wouldn't even consider roasting until you decide, long term, what you want to drink and how you want to drink it. (and personally, I will never bother. yes bother, because that is what it would be to me, a bother.)

Good luck

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 7:16am
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

Hi boar_d_laze…

You know, my mistakes when learning to roast were better than the best coffee at my super market (the choices we had when I began roasting). And nothing approaching a nightmare ever occurred.

Yes there was a learning curve, and in 6 months I graduated to a level of competence which has lasted and grown for over a decade now of very satisfying coffee roasting, brewing, and enjoyment.

I don't produce anything better than a local roaster who entered the scene a couple years back. But then he's got a high end drum roaster that set him back $20K. I like him and I like his beans, but being able to roast a batch of beans enough for a couple weeks in under an hour (twice a month sessions for our needs) at an average of $6 pound shipped...unbeatable!

And with support and advice forums/groups like this one, the troubleshooting and advice serve to cut down the no-pain-no-gain to a minimum…depending on one's level of obsession.

Just my opinions…



°

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

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msboo
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Joined: 10 Nov 2012
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Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 7:31am
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

I agree with Cerridwyn....  Not to discourage you if you really want to start roasting. I've considered it myself but don't want to get into something I may or may not have time for on a regular basis. I also have local roasters to fall back on---that makes it tempting. STILL, I know I can get myself into trouble, being tempted to 'buy a small roaster' and order a bunch of beans. Guess I worry about the 'learning curve' so question my own judgement. It remains in the back of my mind so probably in the future.  Heck, as I started my 'coffee journey' I knew I had to get a grinder quick so researched like crazy----finally had to tell myself I wasn't buying a damn chain saw! LOL Reading reviews on CoffeeGeek and thru the forum, looking at grinder specs for size, finding out about grounds retention (!) was big for me---do your homework so you know what questions to ask yourself and others.  Very important to research, read roaster reviews and consider how/where you would roast in your surroundings.

I messed with my grinder, sourcing beans locally and trying different SOs for a while until I found what we liked/could drink on a regular basis for consistency, still try new things though. I never would have jumped into roasting in the beginning, guess I felt there was so much to learn. BUT if I lived where I had to order beans all the time just to have my coffee----YES I would be roasting, learning as I go.

CoffeeNark....  got a point there. I've seen an explosion of local roasters where we live. Also small coffee shops popping up that carry fresh local and shipped in beans doing pour-overs for customers, roasters doing pour-overs at our Farmer's Market and in coffee shops, etc. Our local WFs carries fresh roasts from some Louisville roasters along with another just over the river in IN (we're in Lex, KY). A 'coffee education' of sorts for consumers is going on here.

ljguitar....  love your post BUT I need to buy a Brazen first. What do you roast with?
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,314
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 10:11am
Subject: Re: Getting Good Fresh Roasts in Small Towns
 

Hi boar_d_laze…You know, my mistakes when learning to roast were better than the best coffee at my super market (the choices we had when I began roasting). And nothing approaching a nightmare ever occurred...

Hey Larry,

You want to address your comments to Susan (cerridwynn) not me. I write something simple, cheerful and supportive, and still get grief.  

Geeze Louise!  

I don't produce anything better than a local roaster who entered the scene a couple years back. But then he's got a high end drum roaster that set him back $20K. I like him and I like his beans, but being able to roast a batch of beans enough for a couple weeks in under an hour (twice a month sessions for our needs) at an average of $6 pound shipped...unbeatable!

My coffee is national class, artisanal roaster good; better than most "local" roasters in any but the most competitive markets.  I've roasted more than 1500lbs in the past few years, invested a lot of time in research, quite a bit of time and money in training, and mountains of money in equipment and beans.  

Can you say "obsessed?"

Being driven is not the good part, and while 90+ point coffee is very nice, it's not the ultimate goal. It's the fun of the doing, and the pursuit of doing better.  Those only take a willing spirit and a few bucks.  I doubt I get a scintilla more pleasure or satisfaction than you, or -- for that matter -- someone starting out with a Whirley Pop.

Rich
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